How to Get Rid of Salt Bloat

Oh, the good old days, when you could wolf down a bag of salty chips and later chase it down with pizza and garlic knots without feeling the ill effects we’ve come to know as salt bloat.

Now, I wake up the morning after staring at a moon face in the mirror, this food hangover, courtesy of a salty overindulgence. The good news is that this fluid retention is only temporary. Body fluid typically returns to its normal state within a few days. Sooner, if you follow a few simple tips.

But first, it helps to understand exactly why salt causes a big blowup. Salt is comprised of sodium and chloride, together they help the body maintain proper hydration. It falls to the kidneys to maintain the correct sodium-water ratio, if you consume too much sodium, the body reserves extra water to compensate.

Problem is, with modern western diets, we ingest too much salt far too often. The American Heart Association finds that 70% of our salt intake comes from processed or restaurant food.  And nine out of 10 Americans are way over the limit of recommended guidelines. Based on this, we are spending a lot of our lives swollen and salty.

And there’s more, the excess salt not only adds to the bloat, but over time has been proven to contribute to weight gain. The best antidote is to tweak the diet to limit salt. But hey, no one’s perfect. So here’s a few steps to get rid of the salt bloat lickety-split.

1- Drink More Water. Seems odd, considering you’re already bloated with water, but it truly helps speed the process. Remember, when you consume too much salt, your body holds on to water to dilute the extra sodium. To rebalance you need to flush out the sodium by adding more water to the mix. In fact, that’s why we’re so thirsty after a salt-bender.

8 to 12 cups over the course of the day should cover it.

2- Get More Potassium. Potassium helps fast-forward the process by increasing sodium output in the urine. This helps lower bloat quicker.

You can get a potassium boost by scarfing down a banana. Other good sources are oranges, raisins, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach and peas. Milk and yogurt can also help in the de-bloating.

Pro tip:  Whip up a high-potassium breakfast smoothie with bananas, orange juice, strawberries and yogurt to kick-start the de-bloating.

3- Put Down the Salt Shaker. A no-brainer, but if you’re trying to flush out excess salt, give your body a break and eat clean. By reducing sodium you can focus on reducing bloat. Stick with pure or whole foods. No lunch meats or salty snacks. Also, avoid salt traps including canned soup and cheese.

4- Work It Out. Exercise is a great way to help you sweat it out. A good workout causes your body shed both water and salt. It is important to note that you’ll want to make sure that you’re not hitting it so hard that you become dehydrated.

Try these tried and true tips next time you need a morning after fix for your salty excursion.

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